Intel XTS100H CPU Cooler Review
By Rafael Otto Coelho on March 11, 2011
Today we are testing the only CPU cooler from Intel available on the retail market, the XTS100H. It is compatible with sockets 1155/1156, has a tower heatsink, three heatpipes and a 95 mm fan. Check it out!
The XTS100H resembles to the DBX-B Intel cooler, which we already reviewed. The DBX-B, however, is bigger, and fits only socket LGA1366 CPUs. Although the name of this cooler is XTS100H, it is also sold as DHX-B or BXXTS100H.
This cooler can be bought alone, but it is advertised as a companion for the Intel Core i7-875K and Core i5-655K processors, which are unlocked, overclocking-aimed CPUs that come without a cooler.
The XTS100H box is big and uses the same graphical design used on Intel CPU boxes, as you can see in Figure 1.
In Figure 2, you can see what comes inside the box: the cooler itself, thermal compound, and a manual.
In Figure 3, you can see the XTS100H.
In the next pages, you will see this cooler in detail.
In Figure 4, you see the front of the cooler. It has a transparent 95-mm fan with blue LEDs, protected by a metallic grill.
In Figure 5, you can see the side of the cooler, where the three heatpipes are visible.
In Figure 6, you check the cooler rear side. The fins are plain here.
In Figure 7, you can see the cooler from the top. Note the small switch that is used to set the cooler to the performance (P) or quiet (Q) modes.
In Figure 8, you can see the base of the cooler. It is made of finely polished copper, with a perfectly mirrored aspect.
The thermal compound that comes with the XTS100H is the Dow Corning TC-1996.
The installation of the XTS100H is simple. First, put the backplate shown in Figure 11 on the solder side of the motherboard.
Then put the cooler on top of the CPU and fasten the four screws that hold it in place. In Figure 12, you can see the cooler installed in our case.
The fan has blue LEDs, as you can see in Figure 13.
We tested the cooler with a Core i7-860 CPU (quad-core, 2.8 GHz), which is a socket LGA1156 processor with a 95 W TDP (Thermal Design Power). In order to get higher thermal dissipation, we overclocked it to 3.3 GHz (150 MHz base clock and 22x multiplier), keeping the standard core voltage (Vcore), which was the maximum stable overclock we could make with the stock cooler. Keep in mind that we could have raised the CPU clock more, but to include the stock cooler in our comparison, we needed to use this moderate overclock.
We measured noise and temperature with the CPU idle and under full load. In order to get 100% CPU usage in all threads, we ran Prime 95 25.11 (in this version, the software uses all available threads) with the "In-place Large FFTs" option.
We compared the tested cooler to the Intel stock cooler with a copper base (included with the CPU), as well as with other coolers. Note that in the past, we tested coolers with a socket LGA775 CPU, and we retested some "old" coolers with this new methodology. This means you can find different values in older reviews than the values you will read in the next page. Every cooler was tested with the thermal compound that accompanies it.
Room temperature measurements were taken with a digital thermometer. The core temperature was read with the SpeedFan program (available from the CPU thermal sensors), using an arithmetic average of the core temperature readings. During the tests, the left panel of the case was open.
Operating System Configuration
We adopted a 2 °C error margin, meaning temperature differences below 2 °C are considered irrelevant.
The table below presents the results of our measurements. We repeated the same test on all coolers listed below. Each measurement was taken with the CPU at idle and at full load. In the models with a fan supporting PWM, the motherboard controlled the fan speed according to core load and temperature. On coolers with an integrated fan controller, the fan was set at the minimum speed on the idle test and at full speed on the full load test.
Processor at Full Load
|Cooler||Room Temp.||Noise||Speed||Core Temp.||Noise||Speed||Core Temp.|
|Intel stock (socket LGA1156)||14 °C||44 dBA||1700 rpm||46 °C||54 dBA||2500 rpm||90 °C|
|Cooler Master Hyper TX3 G1||14 °C||47 dBA||2050 rpm||33 °C||56 dBA||2900 rpm||62 °C|
|Zalman CNPS10X Extreme||14 °C||45 dBA||1400 rpm||27 °C||53 dBA||1950 rpm||51 °C|
|Thermaltake Silent 1156||14 °C||44 dBA||1200 rpm||38 °C||49 dBA||1750 rpm||69 °C|
|Noctua NH-D14||14 °C||49 dBA||1250 rpm||27 °C||49 dBA||1250 rpm||53 °C|
|Zalman CNPS10X Performa||14 °C||46 dBA||1500 rpm||28 °C||52 dBA||1950 rpm||54 °C|
|Prolimatech Megahalems||14 °C||40 dBA||750 rpm||27 °C||60 dBA||2550 rpm||50 °C|
|Thermaltake Frio||14 °C||46 dBA||1450 rpm||27 °C||60 dBA||2500 rpm||50 °C|
|Prolimatech Samuel 17||14 °C||40 dBA||750 rpm||40 °C||60 dBA||2550 rpm||63 °C|
|Zalman CNPS8000A||18 °C||43 dBA||1400 rpm||39 °C||54 dBA||2500 rpm||70 °C|
|Spire TherMax Eclipse II||14 °C||55 dBA||2200 rpm||28 °C||55 dBA||2200 rpm||53 °C|
|Scythe Ninja3||17 °C||39 dBA||700 rpm||32 °C||55 dBA||1800 rpm||57 °C|
|Corsair A50||18 °C||52 dBA||1900 rpm||33 °C||52 dBA||1900 rpm||60 °C|
|Thermaltake Jing||18 °C||44 dBA||850 rpm||34 °C||49 dBA||1300 rpm||60 °C|
|GlacialTech Alaska||18 °C||43 dBA||1150 rpm||36 °C||51 dBA||1600 rpm||60 °C|
|Deepcool Gamer Storm||18 °C||43 dBA||1100 rpm||35 °C||48 dBA||1600 rpm||62 °C|
|Corsair A70||26 °C||56 dBA||1900 rpm||40 °C||56 dBA||1900 rpm||65 °C|
|Deepcool Ice Blade Pro||23 °C||45 dBA||1200 rpm||38 °C||52 dBA||1500 rpm||64 °C|
|AC Freezer 7 Pro Rev. 2||23 °C||47 dBA||1750 rpm||44 °C||51 dBA||2100 rpm||77 °C|
|Corsair H70||27 °C||60 dBA||1900 rpm||37 °C||60 dBA||1900 rpm||61 °C|
|Zalman CNPS9900 Max||27 °C||55 dBA||1600 rpm||38 °C||58 dBA||1750 rpm||63 °C|
|Arctic Cooling Freezer 11 LP||25 °C||45 dBA||1700 rpm||51 °C||49 dBA||1950 rpm||91 °C|
|CoolIT Vantage||26 °C||60 dBA||2500 rpm||37 °C||60 dBA||2500 rpm||62 °C|
|Deepcool Ice Matrix 600||25 °C||46 dBA||1100 rpm||41 °C||53 dBA||1300 rpm||69 °C|
|Titan Hati||26 °C||46 dBA||1500 rpm||40 °C||57 dBA||2450 rpm||68 °C|
|Arctic Cooling Freezer 13||27 °C||49 dBA||1950 rpm||41 °C||53 dBA||2300 rpm||70 °C|
|Noctua NH-C14||26 °C||52 dBA||1300 rpm||37 °C||52 dBA||1300 rpm||61 °C|
|Intel XTS100H||26 °C||49 dBA||1200 rpm||42 °C||64 dBA||2600 rpm||68 °C|
In the graph below, at full load you can see how many degrees Celsius hotter the CPU core is than the air outside the case. The lower this difference, the better is the performance of the cooler.
The main features of the Intel XTS100H CPU cooler include:
The Intel XTS100H is a good CPU cooler for socket LGA1155/1156 CPUs. It has shown a performance level that rivals to bigger coolers from brands that have more tradition in the CPU cooling market.
The main drawback of this cooler is not the fact it doesn't support other CPU sockets, nor its price, which is nice considering its performance. The problem is the annoying, extra-loud, high-pitch noise it makes while in the performance mode and the CPU is under full load. It was, actually, the noisiest cooler we tested so far.
Thanks to the good performance, the Intel XTS100H may be a good choice if you have an overclocked socket LGA1155/1156 CPU, if you don't require silence. But if you don't like a loud high-pitch sound while you are working or gaming, you can let it on the "quiet" mode (loosing some performance) or you can look for a different cooler.